5 Cuban volleyball players convicted of rape in Finland
HELSINKI – A Finnish court on Tuesday convicted five members of Cuba's
national volleyball team of aggravated rape and ordered them to pay a
total of 24,000 euros ($27,000) in compensation to the victim.
Four of the men were sentenced to five years in prison, while a fifth
man got 3 1/2 years.
The District Court of Pirkanmaa acquitted a sixth man, who had been held
in police custody with the five others in the southern city of Tampere.
The trial was held behind closed doors.
The men had denied the charges, saying they were innocent. It wasn't
immediately clear if the five who were convicted would appeal. Some said
they had sexual intercourse with the Finnish victim but denied rape.
Five-year sentences were given to Osmany Santiago Uriarte Mestre, 21,
Ricardo Norberto Calvo Manzano, 19, Abrahan Alfonso Gavilan, 21, and
Rolando Cepeda Abreu, 27. Luis Tomas Sosa Sierra, 21, got 3 1/2 years.
Eight members of the Cuban volleyball team were initially arrested in
early July following allegations that a woman was raped at a hotel where
the team was staying in Tampere, 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of the
capital, Helsinki. Two were released without charge.
The arrests were made during Volleyball World League.
During the investigation, the Cuban Volleyball Association acknowledged
the arrests, saying the investigation seemed to indicate acts by the
players that were "totally removed from discipline, the sense of honor
and respect that govern our sport and society."
Source: 5 Cuban volleyball players convicted of aggravated rape in
Finland | In Cuba Today -